Taking mental health medications can be a difficult process, especially if you have not taken them before and have doubts or fears about pharmacological therapy. It can be even more difficult if your doctor did not give you enough information about the benefits and risks to your right to a free choice of treatment. It can also be difficult if the pharmacy at the hospital or community mental health center is often out of stock of your medications, and you have to go through several private pharmacies in order to find one that offers generics and not just expensive brand-name products.
This is the reality faced by thousands of mental health clients in Peru.
With the support of the Pulitzer Center, a team of journalists from Salud con lupa researched the problem and is now publishing this investigative series on what is not usually talked about in mental health clinics. The project address a variety of topics, from the influence of pharmaceutical companies on psychiatrist’s prescriptions, the reasons for the recurrent medications shortages in hospitals and community mental health center pharmacies, and the stories of dozens of people who experienced unreported side effects.